Germany: Bundesliga
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Schalke 04
M. Akanji (55), E. Haaland (61), M. Hummels (78)
By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Benedikt Höwedes backs Manuel Baum to turn things around at Schalke 04

Benedikt Höwedes believes Manuel Baum is capable of putting crisis-hit Schalke 04 out of their misery.
Benedikt Höwedes has backed Schalke 04 coach Manuel Baum to turn things around at the struggling Gelsenkirchen club.

Winless in their last 20 games, Schalke sit 17th in the Bundesliga table ahead of Saturday's Revierderby against Borussia Dortmund.

Baum has taken a point from his first two games in charge after succeeding David Wagner as coach at Veltins-Arena, and Höwedes believes he could be the man to reverse the club's fortunes.

"There is a very negative mood around the club and an incredible pressure on the team. A derby naturally offers a good chance to ease this situation a little," the former Schalke player said in an interview with DPA and added:

"Having to start the season with matches against FC Bayern, Leipzig and Dortmund is of course extremely difficult. All three teams are title contenders. You don't usually gain confidence in games like these.

"With 20 games without a win, you're naturally among the possible relegation candidates. But I believe that Manuel Baum will give the team new impulses and release the potential that is still there. If you look at their squad, Schalke shouldn't be fighting against relegation. But they must finally show their quality on the pitch again," said Höwedes.

Höwedes, 32, made a total of 335 appearances for Schalke 04 during his active career.

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